The Government through the Directorate of Occupational Safety and Health Services (OSHA), is conducting a three-day medical camp for workers ahead of the World Day for Safety and Health at Work celebrations scheduled for April 28.
The Camp which is being held in Nyeri is targeting employees from both the public and private sector from the Central Region that comprises of Kiambu, Murang’a, Kirinyaga, Nyeri and Nyandarua counties.
Mr Moses Muthee, an Assistant Director in the Ministry of Labour, says they hope to attend to as many people as possible within the remaining time, despite a slow start to the exercise, Wednesday.
“On April 28, we shall be celebrating the World Day for Safety and Health at Work and as part of the celebrations we are carrying out occupational medical camps for workers across the country. Currently we are in the Central Region, targeting workers who come from this area,” he told KNA.
Apart from the common work-related health challenges such as exposure to dust, back problems and noise pollution that most employees complain about, OSHA is similarly attending to other advanced health issues that may require further medical attention.
Muthee further says despite the camp’s objective being to address the everyday health challenges that affect a majority of workers, the government was also assisting those who might need specialized medical attention through referrals.
“We are more biased on the issues of occupational medical exams though of course we can’t turn away someone with other medical issues. We have medical personnel who can handle any other medical issue,’’ he stated.
“We are mainly looking at issues of occupational illnesses; what workers are going through at the work place. Probably there are issues they are probably getting at the workplace, we have a team that is well conversant in that area,” added Muthee.
One of the medics, Dr. John Kimani, who is attending the workers, said among health challenges affecting a majority of workers were respiratory problems and noise related challenges due to heavy machinery.
Dr Kimani, a trained medical doctor, says before advising the patient on the way forward, they must first ascertain whether the challenge at hand is due to the working environment or emanating from other factors such as domestic matters.
He says this will enable the particular individuals, get necessary help that would eventually assist in getting to the bottom of the problem and in the process offer the most ideal remedy.
“We are looking at whether what you are suffering from is work related or not and then advice. If it is not work related and is a medical case, we also handle it. We also have drugs for those who might be having other diseases which are common such as hypertension and Diabetes. We are also checking blood sugars for those who might have such problems,” he said.
By Samuel Maina